Host an Exchange Student
Many students from around the world are looking to study in a foreign country. For each student that gets to study abroad, a host family is there to provide support and a home. If you choose to host an exchange student, you can help someone realize a dream and have an experience they will never forget.
Exchange students will need to make sure they have international student insurance to cover their medical expenses. HCC Medical Insurance Services (HCCMIS) offers three insurance plans to fit most budgets. StudentSecure® Select, StudentSecure® Budget, and StudentSecure® Smart offer many valuable benefits for those participating in an international education program including:
Student Insurance Benefits
- Physician office visits
- Hospital room and board
- Maternity care for a covered pregnancy(80% within the PPO, 60% outside the PPO up to $5,000 for StudentSecure Budget and 80% within the PPO, 60% outside the PPO up to the coverage maximum for StudentSecure Select)
- Coverage for organized sports injuries(StudentSecure Budget and StudentSecure Select)
- Emergency medical evacuation (a required benefit by most countries and academic institutions)
Foreign Exchange Student Programs
There are several different programs that can provide you and your family with the opportunity to host a foreign exchange student. We have created this guide to help you learn more about five of the top programs for housing foreign exchange students:
|Education First Foundation||Education First Foundation allows you to search for a student that would fit with your family. EF Foundation is committed to finding students that match your family’s interests.|
|International Cultural Exchange Services (ICES)||ICES’s goal is to promote international awareness and cultural understanding through their exchange program. They believe that students and host families are able to bring the world together by creating new international families.|
|Ayusa Global Youth Exchange||Ayusa believes that by opening your doors to a foreign exchange student, your family is changing the world.|
|International Student Exchange (ISE)||ISE is a non-profit exchange program that is committed to supporting its students and its host families. Above all else, ISE cares about creating a positive exchange experience for every student, family, and school involved in their programs.|
|Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI)||CCI promotes cultural understanding, academic development, environmental consciousness and world peace through their exchange program.|
Exchange Student Insurance StudentSecure Select
|Benefit||What It Means||StudentSecure Select?|
|Monthly Payments||Coverage can be paid for on a monthly basis||Yes|
|U.S. PPO Network||Online searchable provider network||Yes, with physicians across the U.S.|
|Coinsurance outside the U.S.||100% of eligible expenses after the deductible up to the certificate period maximum||Yes|
|$25 per incident deductible||Your out-of-pocket expense per injury or illness is $25 USD for eligible expenses||Yes|
|Inpatient Hospitalization||If you are injured or ill and need hospitalization for more than 24 hours, this is considered inpatient hospitalization||Yes|
|Coverage for prescription drugs||Your prescriptions are covered by your plan||Yes|
|Coverage for maternity||Expenses related to covered pregnancy are covered by the plan||Yes. 80% within the PPO or 60% outside the PPO up to the coverage maximum|
Hosting Japanese Exchange Students
Every year, thousands of students from Japan travel to the U.S. to study in exchange programs. Many parents that host an exchange student don’t know what to expect when their Japanese exchange student comes from a culture so different from their own. You can help your student transition to their stay in the United States by making a focused effort to anticipate their needs.
What to expect- Your student will probably be overwhelmed at first, so expect them to be somewhat distant at the start of their stay with you. Remember, your student isn’t used to some parts of American culture, so be patient and help them in any way possible.
How to welcome your student- The best way to welcome a student into your home is to make it as inviting as you can. Be open with him or her, and make them feel like they are at home, making a special effort to include them in meal planning and inviting them to share ideas for making their American home more like their Japanese home.
How to connect with your student- Foreign exchange students are always encouraged to learn as much as they can about their destination before leaving home. As an exchange student host, you can help build a strong connection with your student by researching Japanese culture and learning more about their culture.
What Students Should Expect from Host Families
As you prepare for your exchange experience, keep in mind that most programs have certain requirements for your host family. Your trip might be full of new experiences, but you can at least count on a few necessities wherever you go:
- Three square meals - Host families are required to provide three meals a day to their student.
- A bed - A bed will be provided for you in a room either by yourself or shared with a new sibling of the same sex.
- Support - Above all else, your exchange student host family is there to provide you with support. If you have questions or need help with schoolwork or you just need someone to talk to you, your family is there for you.
What Students Should Bring with Them
If you are a student researching foreign exchange student housing, or if you are a host family preparing to welcome a student into your home, you have an exciting experience ahead of you. Just as it is important for host families to provide their students with a safe and welcoming home, it’s crucial that students prepare ahead.
Exchange Student Checklist
- Insurance - Most exchange programs and the J-1 Visa require you to have student insurance. HCCMIS offers StudentSecure insurance to students who are traveling to a foreign country to study.
- Spending Money - Make sure you bring spending money with you so you will not need to depend on your host family for everything
- Travel Documents - Don’t let your trip end before it begins! Make sure you have extra copies of all your travel documents, such as your passport, plane tickets, visa, and insurance cards.
- A Positive Attitude - Keep an open mind about your new exchange experience and welcome the new people, places, and things you are sure to meet abroad.